FIBA 2010 World Championship: USA Remains Its Own Biggest Challenger

September 6th, 2010 by Patrick Laird Leave a reply »
I know it's already been said, but...

Team USA's toughest opponent in winning the 2010 FIBA World Championship will be itself. That's not to suggest that Turkey, Argentina, Brazil, Spain, or even China don't possess the wherewithal to defeat the Americans, but rather that Coach K's squad possess a few defensive flaws that may make it susceptible on its own.

Although it may not seem so after Kevin Durant and company ran past the Angolans on Monday in a 121-66 drubbing in Istanbul, Turkey. Even that game, however, revealed problems that may become more apparent in the semifinals and finals (assuming USA has no trouble with the Russia/New Zealand winner).

The first problem even evident in the Angola game is USA's ability to close out on 3-point shooters with any type of urgency. Angola, playing without its top scorer, relied heavily on quick possessions with ball reversals and penetration. On the possessions they were successful, especially in the second quarter where the African nation scored 25 points, their American defenders were often caught sleeping on penetration.

Plenty of Angolan scores in that quarter came off kick-outs for an ...

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